Recent posts by issendorf on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

GDP will go up when the economy is healthy, and the economy is most healthy when there’s a moderate curve from poor to wealthy and when the middle class is strong. They’re the drivers of demand and production.

You have it backwards. Consumer spending doesn’t spur economic growth – consumer spending is a byprouduct of economic growth. Sure, a stimulus may produce a spike in economic growth, but it’s not sustainable economic growth. It’s a sugar high. It’s investment – human and capital – that produces sustainable economic growth. Sustainable economic growth boosts incomes among all income classes which then allows them to spend.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

If you cut it for just one group though and take the difference through raising it somewhere else, yes, I can.

The issue is you can’t just cut it for one group (without completely rewriting the tax code to actively punish you for earning money beyond the earnings cap).

A tax system that left people with a minimum amount of disposable income. So if you’re under the curve, you’d get a little, at the curve pay none, and the further over, pay more. It wouldn’t be necessary for those over the curve to pay everything down to the curve, it would just be an increasing percentage as a function of amount over the minimum. It would be cutting the taxes for the poor, and raising them somewhat on the wealthy.

If I’m reading you correctly, this is essentially Friedman’s negative income tax, which I largely support. Implementation of a negative income tax would be far more effective (and likely far cheaper) at aiding our poor than the current hodgepodge of government welfare programs.

A tax cut doesn’t stimulate the economy if taxes aren’t at an obscenely high amount to begin with, and the top 5% are not stimulating the economy by buying luxury items the same way the bottom 50% does by buying services and basic goods. That same money the top 5% spent would do a whole lot more for the economy if spent by the bottom 50% instead, who have a bucket list of goods that increase demand across a large variety of businesses.

The wealthy by and large aren’t using their money on Maseratis; they’re investing their money and getting returns on it. That’s why their wealth has increased rapidly over the past 20 years or so – the stock market has boomed but household incomes have remained fairly flat. Reducing taxes – specifically capital gains taxes – makes it more efficient to get capital into the markets which is critical for continued growth in the American economy.

Drugs cost far, far, far less in socialized countries than the USA.

Why do they cost so much less? Because there are price caps. The issue with price caps is they can significantly reduce the ability of drug companies to research new drugs. I saw a study out of the NBER that reducing drug prices by 40-50% would lead to 30-60% fewer R&D projects (less severe price caps have a much lower impact on R&D projects).

So, what essentially happens, is the American consumer subsidizes Europe’s drugs since we’re the ones footing the bills for the R&D. If we implement the price caps, the variety of drugs available globally and the innovation by drug companies will fall.

And it’s disingenous to imply that rationing doesn’t already happen in the United States.

It’s also disingenuous to imply that the rationed care in the U.S. is comparable to the amount of care rationed in Europe.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

A flat tax only hurts those already not getting by, and somewhat higher taxes on the very wealthy does not affect economic growth. There’s absolutely no logical reason to have a flat tax other than because it “sounds” more fair to the superficial thinker that doesn’t consider 14% of someone in poverty is life changing compared to 14% of someone making over 100,000 who isn’t now unable to procure all basic necessities.

I’m well aware of this, hence why I’m not advocating for a flat tax. Flatter =/= flat.

Define what you mean by progressive.

A regime that increases the tax rate based on the dollar earned. In simple terms, the 100th dollar you earned is taxed less than the 30,000th dollar you earn.

With a flat tax. Not so with other methods.

Can you provide an example of a tax cut that would favor the poor over the wealthy?

The top 5% has over 50% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 60% have 4.2%. Hmm …

I’m aware, and I was obviously not blasting the poor for not paying taxes. I’m merely stating you can’t cut what it isn’t spent, and in this case, you can’t cut the poor’s taxes because they aren’t paying any whereas the wealthy are. So, if the government cuts taxes, only the people who pay taxes are going to experience the bulk of the benefits (the rich) – that’s just in terms of the cost of the tax cut, the potential stimulation of the economy from the tax cut would penetrate all classes.

Lower, flatter rates that disproportionately favor the wealthy are NOT good, when the slack in tax revenue is picked up by cutting programs that those with lower income rely on.

That’s not what would happen, but ok.

With the speculation tax he’s proposed, and nationalizing healthcare (which is like 20+% of our GDP at this point) it isn’t. Every other first world country spends nearly half of what we do for BETTER healthcare outcomes. Closing loopholes on businesses and overseas accounts will pull in a lot, and it’s not like our military budget can’t be lowered a bit.

Even noted right-winger Paul Krugman has said Sanders budget isn’t terribly feasible without massive tax increases. The reason those other countries have much lower health care costs is mostly because they ration care. Sanders doesn’t mention that (because he’s wildly disingenuous) and, somehow, I think the allure of socialized medicine will lose a lot of its appeal when care is limited.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Bernie is saying: let’s FINALLY appropriately tax the wealthy and reduce that of the middle and lower classes.

I know this is what Bernie is saying, but looking at the numbers, it seems impossible that his spending priorities could be achieved without significantly raising taxes on the middle class (and likely even portions of the lower class).

Of all the faults I have with Sanders, it’s this. Republicans get shit on for voodoo economics (justifiably so in many instances – economic growth is used to justify every instance of corporate welfare and tax cut), but Sanders plan of just taxing the millionaires and billionaires to pay for his budget is a mathematical impossibility. There is simply not enough money that the wealthy can provide the government to pay our current bills, let alone all of his new spending programs. Even if you jack rates up to confiscatory levels of 80%+, it still doesn’t solve the spending problems. The middle class would have to be tapped and favorite tax breaks they enjoy (mortgage deduction, health insurance premiums not being taxed, etc.) would need to be eliminated as well.

If you want the government to pay for all the things he’s advocating, that’s fine, but you should be ready to pay more in taxes, and if you’re in the middle class now, expect to pay quite a bit more to Uncle Sam under the Sanders plan.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

yet the GOP entire candidate pool is advocating for greater tax breaks for the wealthy. What the hell?!

It’s impossible to create a tax cut that won’t overwhelmingly favor the wealthy. The bottom 50% pay less than 5% of the nation’s income taxes (actual number is close to 3% I believe) whereas the 1% pay about 40% of our income taxes. The poor by and large don’t really pay any taxes, and you can’t cut taxes that aren’t paid which is why the memes of “The Republicans’ tax cut favors the wealthy!” are so stupid.

Also: “Lowering taxes” and “flattening taxes” are not the same thing and shouldn’t be equated. Neither movement is necessarily good, as you know.

But tax reform is necessarily good, and that involves lower, flatter rates with the elimination of tax deductions and loopholes in a revenue neutral manner. That’s why I pair the two because good tax reform requires both. But you’re right, there is too much of a good thing and the rates have to be high enough to pay the bills.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

“Established” by who?

Economists.

EDIT: This is obviously overly simplistic (having tax rates on the wealthy that are at, say, 2% is not going to be better than having tax rates at 25%), but as a general rule of thumb, a lower, broader tax regime tends to have a greater positive effect on economic growth than a higher, more progressive tax regime.

I treat it as a general guideline for my approach to fiscal policy, not as gospel. The idea is that a simpler tax system (I think we can probably all agree a simpler tax system is better than what we have now) is better for economic growth, and the more progressive you make your tax system, the more inherently complex it becomes relative to the flatter regime.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Without taxes we gut our public services, and those are essential.

Please point me to where I said there should be no taxes. TIA

Maybe we can have your flatter, lower taxes by disbanding the military, right?

Lowering, flattening tax rates can easily be done in a revenue-neutral manner (or revenue surplus if you want to use a dynamic analysis) by eliminating a slew of tax deductions.

than an abolition of the capital gains tax pitched by all of the GOP candidates.

It amuses me that you claim to know oh so much about the GOP and its candidates, yet are completely oblivious to the fact that only one candidate has proposed a 0% capital gains tax rate (Rubio).

What I’d like to ask you, Issendorf, is what YOU think the GOP and DNC are selling the American voter when they pitch these ideas?

I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat and I largely hate (to varying degrees) all of the candidates running at this point, so I don’t especially care what the parties have to say.

And I’d say that the GOP is pitching an idea that the less money the government takes, the more we all get to keep…

There isn’t a consistent concept of conservatism that’s coming from the GOP candidates (indeed, over half the vote in NH went to candidates that aren’t, arguably, conservative) which is makes it an impossible thing to pin down in a single paragraph.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

It should be noted that the independent organization responsible for that one-sheet advocates for tax reform and casually equate lower taxes with economic growth…

It’s pretty well established that lower, flatter tax rates are more favorable than higher, more progressive tax rates.

yet the one-sheets are only supplied for the Democratic candidates and both are critical.

They reviewed the GOP plans as well

Wait, let’s back up a second. What is your point?

I’m merely providing an alternative opinion of Mr. Sander’s tax plan in response to Karma paraphrasing the musings of a lone economist who, again, worked for Mr. Sanders (that would be an instance of overt bias btw). You can make of it what you will.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

For a fair and balanced look at Bernie’s plan, here’s an analysis of Bernie’s plan that wasn’t written by someone that used to be on his payroll.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Bernie Sanders fatal flaw.

That’s the very real concern I, and I suspect rather a lot of others have; that if he has consistently failed to manage a budget (he has, on every one of his companies, failed to manage a budget) and consistently pulled money out of them to work on his own vanity projects, is he not going to do the exact same thing with a country he’s in charge of?

That probably wouldn’t even make the top 100 reasons of why I’m terrified of the thought of President Trump.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

Snide hyperbole to cover your lack for sufficient rebuttal.

“Conservatives don’t pursue degrees because conservative viewpoints are, in many instances, extremely contradictory to reality.” That’s what Kasic said, that conservatives are delusional when it comes to reality, therefore they don’t want to go into academia because, I guess, there minds will explode when faced with all that liberal awesomeness. I guess you’re cool with “snide hyperbole” when people you disagree with are smeared, eh?

That isn’t an argument based in reality as to why conservative intellectuals don’t want to work at universities and instead opt to work for think tanks. My question is why. The rebuttal of “conservatives aren’t as smart as liberals and only want to deceive the sheeple” has all the wisdom of the comments section of a Think Progress post.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

That is NOT to say that liberal ideology is always correct by any means.

This sentence would carry a lot more weight if your previous paragraph was a litany of pretty much every political issue sans foreign policy and guns and your believe that the conservatives are delusional on all of them.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

I agree with your assertion that liberals are probably more predisposed to pursue a degree in academia, but massively disagree with why. Conservatives don’t pursue degrees because conservative viewpoints are, in many instances, extremely contradictory to reality. The “conservative” minded people who get degrees go to religious, heavily biased schools that are not peer reviewed or well respected in academia precisely BECAUSE they ignore reality in many cases.

So conservatives are too stupid/too delusional to get into academia. I’m skeptical, but hey, what do I know? I’m just a lowly conservative who ignores reality in many cases.

I had hoped this would be an actual discussion regarding the atmosphere that drives conservatives away from college campuses. I’m disappointed, although not terribly surprised you’d double down on this argument.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

Bobneson, the reason many college professors are “biased” in their teaching is because they teach facts. Climate change, for example. The vast majority of what conservatives say about climate change are either lies (intentional distortion of the idea) or a regurgitation of such unknowingly. One common thing I encounter is conservatives claiming that one volcano puts out more CO2 than all of human history has, and that’s just flat out wrong. Many “conservative” positions nowadays are like that. Abortion and abstinence only sex ed, trickle down economics, fear of immigrants, religion tied with political ideology, all of those things and more are very easily shown to be bad and inaccurate portrayed.

This is, of course, the popular reasoning the left uses to explain the monopoly of liberal minds employed at universities, but it’s a far too simplistic to claim that professors are simply “teaching the facts.” Even if we look at something as concrete as climate change, professors are most certainly not teaching the facts since the common reaction to professors that there hasn’t been significant warming for two decades is usually ¯\(ツ)/¯. Likewise, with economics, there’s a glut of data showing more conservative economic philosophies are better than Keynesian philosophies that are in vogue with the left today. And so on.

But beyond that, if we look at the Humanities/Liberal Arts, where some studies have found 95%+ of professors are liberal, those are degrees that are decidely not fact-based. They’re largely theory- and opinion-based. When I take a class on Tolstoy, and my professor gave her opinions on War & Peace (or marked me down when I wrote a scathing article about why Anna Karenina isn’t a sympathetic character), those aren’t teaching the facts, yet they’re a group that, when I chatted with them during office hours, were 100% liberal. Why? Could a conservative not offer an adequate opinion on 19th Century Russian literature? There are plenty of conservatives who are in the STEM fields, in the business sector, etc. Could they not be capable professors. Would they be unable to “teach the facts” as Kasic suggests? I highly doubt it.

To me, the reason that professors and academia has very little to do with the actual subject matter that’s being taught. I also don’t think there is a concerted effort among universities to avoid hiring conservatives as a means of protecting their liberal bubbles. Instead, I think liberals are more predisposed to pursue a degree in academia than are conservatives. That may be because liberals have historically ruled universities so conservative scholars would feel ostracized. That may be because conservatives may be more interested in working in the ‘real world.’ And sure, that may be because their opinions are incompatible with the current atmosphere of higher education in this country.

I also think this is a problem. I know the left has very little interest in changing the liberal status quo at universities since it helps them mold their students into nice little liberal ideologues. Yet, if the idea of universities is to be exposed to a multitude of differing viewpoints (something the SJWs seem to be increasingly opposed to sadly), then there needs to be more conservative professors, although what the solution is I have no idea. There are scores of unbelievably stupid liberal professors. Is there really no place for professors that the left would also view to have unbelievably stupid positions?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should the government shut down kongregate?

I believe Kongregate is the part of the Internet that Trump was especially concerned about.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

Plus, that fucker now has gasoline down to $1.67 a gal.

Seeing as the President not only had nothing to do with the shale revolution, he has actually actively sought to limit its expansion, it’s inane to pin low gas prices on the President. Indeed, previous statements from our dear leader indicate he’s kinda cool with high gas prices in order to curb Americans’ use of fossil fuels. You can debate whether that’s a good thing or not – what’s largely not debatable is that the President had a hand in lowering gas prices. He didn’t.


This is why Republican attempts to take the country back to an earlier point in its history are plain not going to happen.

As opposed to the Democrats who have an economic policy proposals that bring the country back to the 1930s – the same party that is committed to making as many workers as beholden to labor unions as possible, even though labor unions have long been obsolete. This is the party that is actively trying to squash services like Uber and Air Bnb. This is the party of the future? Really?

Yeah, it’s hard to take the charge of the GOP trying bring the country backwards a century when pretty much every liberal policy sans gay marriage and abortion is a throwback to the early 20th century.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

the GOP is NEVER going to take America “back”.

: )

Progressives ARE the ones who drive AND steer society.

Nothing says progress more than advocating economic policies that were popular in the 1930s and supporting a party that hasn’t come up with a new idea since the 1960s.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

Besides, why would I even want to try to “guide” issen …. he, much like YOU, appears to be hugely disinterested in enlightenment.

Serious question: Do you think it’s possible for a regular, thinking person to be “enlightened” and to arrive at the conclusion that a more conservative worldview is better than a more progressive worldview? Because you have never shown, as far as I know, the capacity to realize that there are reasonable reasons for regular people to come to a different outcome than your own.

And if the answer is yes, how do I, a person who lived in one of the most liberal cities in the country for five years and has a degree in political science (apparently someone who doesn’t want to be enlightened on liberal matters), differ from a person who is interested in enlightenment?

I gave him ONE concept of socialism and he did the very same thing that YOU do ….
he ignorantly assumes that there is ONLY ONE form of socialism….

I gave four forms of Socialism actually – you didn’t contend how health insurance applies to any of them.

Frankly, you “conservatives” aren’t doing all that well here on SD.

Based on what, precisely?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

Did I actually say 100%?

You said “anyone who identifies as Democrat.”

I didn’t include the Dino’s …. duh?

Sure you did. If they self-identify as Democrat, then they would be someone who, well, identifies as Democrat. If you only want to include leftists (which, to be fair, is essentially the bulk of the Democratic party at this point), perhaps be a little more accurate in the future.

For me a true Democrat is one that fully understands just how poisonous the basic GOP agenda is and knows that a “leftist” effort is necessary—regardless of any repugnancy contained—to counter it. Call it a lesser of evils.

That’s the thing – you don’t get to decide who get’s to identify as a Democrat. Hell, I now identify as a Democrat, karma, and I wouldn’t say Hillary is more qualified than anything the GOP has thus far put up.

: )

YOUR ignorance of what the big corporations are doing to America (did you even try to watch that video?) is right there w/ jhco’s. Tin hat or whatever a Young Republican opts to wear, such thinking as your comes down to being supremely sheepled by the greatest ruse for control since religion.

It’s more interesting when Jesse Ventura makes this argument IMO.

Of course YOU will defend jake’s crap. YOU do the same idiot accessing of links. Ya really ought to read a bit further than just the title.

You asked for data that showed more people are renouncing citizenship than at any point previously. I provided that data since I could access it easily rather than make jhco dig for it. I think you’re just salty because he’s correct.

Of course YOU will tacitly defend jake’s crap METHOD of getting information by assailing mine.

Literally the entire rest of the forum rags on jhco routinely. I think y’all are doing well enough of critiquing his arguments and sources that you don’t need me to pile on if/when I quibble with what he’s throwing out there.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Democrats losing support across the board.

Essentially, health insurance is socialism.

Please explain how private health insurance companies is one of the following:

1) The advocation of collective/government ownership

2) A system where there is no private property

3) A system where the means of production are controlled by the state

4) The transitional Marxist stage between capitalism and communism

That’s what socialism is. Social contracts aren’t socialism (health insurance isn’t even a social contract, but I’m being quite generous to play his game). This author is an idiot and you’ve made the entire forum more stupid for being subject to the ramblings of a Daily Kos blogger who doesn’t have the faintest idea what socialism actually is.

Before the ACA:

Premium (myself, spouse, 1 child): $4,800
Prescriptions (after $1500 per person per year cap): $7,500
Other out of pocket costs: $4,000

Total: $16,300

After the ACA

Premium: $2,500
Prescriptions: $1,200
Other out of pocket: $2,500

Total: $6,700

This fella is the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of people are paying far more in insurance premiums than they were pre-ACA. Paying $2,500 less as President Rainbows and Unicorns promised they are not.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Democrats losing support across the board.

All you have done there is engage your typical extreme bias against what basically comes down to that dreaded concept of socialism …. while bragging about having taken advantage of it.

Benefits paid by a private entity as part of his wages is socialism now? Fascinating.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Polarized US Politics

MY belief is that anyone identifying as Democrat will find Hillary much more QUALIFIED than ANYTHING the GOP is putting up thus far.

Really? You believe 100% of Democrats would say Hillary is much more qualified (not just more mind you, but “much more”) than Bush, Kasich and Christie? That strikes me as highly unlikely.

Bernie is the ONLY thing that is going to save this country from the OLIGARCHY it has become. The blind like you will NEVER understand that ….. such is the wall of ignorant hatred you HIDE behind. This video well lays out the path by which we Americans are headed for impoverished chains.

Yeah, wake up sheeple. BIG CORPORATION IS TRYING TO FOOL YOU AND THEY’RE SUCCEEDING BECAUSE OF ALL YOUR HATE.

I know you like to think of jhco as a tin foil hatter, but I wonder if you actually read the shit you write. It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

Source.
Other than your ass.

If it isn’t in a Bill Moyers video, karma just isn’t interested.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

BUT, it is far better than NO govt. and even better than a lot of others in the world.
Do YOU purposefully misinterpret even the simplest of points in order to promote your agenda?

Oh, you you’re just setting up the strawman of “well at least I’m not an anarchist!” For a moment, I thought you were making cogent point.

How YOU manage to think I’m defending the NSA is almost disturbing.

I wasn’t talking about the NSA you dolt – I was talking about the watch list.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

It means that if the government had grounds to limit people’s freedom of movement, that would also mean they should have grounds to prevent them from getting a firearm, because in a sane world, freedom of movement > freedom to own a deadly weapon.

No, in a sane world, your rights > your privileges.

You’re really going to make this argument? You’re not prevented from owning guns if you’re not allowed to own a handgun for no reason. See the issue?

I don’t. In the gun instance, you’re barred from purchasing all guns. In your instance, you’re barred from boarding a plane. You still have freedom of movement, albeit in a slower form. A more comparable comparison would be if a person was barred from owning, say, a shotgun but was still allowed to purchase handguns. I say more comparable because, again, comparing rights and privileges is a mostly apples-to-oranges comparison.

If something is being denied wrongfully, there’s an issue.

Both are an issue – I just slot the gun issue as more important than the plane issue.

All that said, it seems like we’re pretty much in agreement that by and large the current terror watch list is pretty dreadful and how peeps are put on it needs to be 1) more transparent and 2) revised so hundreds of thousands of innocent peeps aren’t needlessly hindered.


Yeah, the problem is that it seems the popular conservative opinion is that the likes of the NSA is great and we need to sacrifice this for national security. At least, that’s what Dick Cheney ( I think it’s him, all these old, white guys start blending together), and these dudes think. Unless the letter I got from them was talking about something different; between the buzz words and loaded sentences they mentioned the Freedom Act, not being able to track down terrorists (in all caps, too), and intelligence agencies being undermined. Kinda sucks that they didn’t include any sources, because I don’t really want to trudge through their web page a whole lot and possibly waste time while looking for something that could be relevant to me.

This is all spot on – the neocons are dreadful when it comes to the Bill of Rights.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

I mean, it’s not quite right, because technically the NSA spying on you isn’t always because of unreasonable (er) reasons, and it technically isn’t exactly like a search or seizure.

I completely agree that the NSA program was wildly unconstitutional. Just because the government feels it’s NBD to ignore one right doesn’t mean we should stand by while they ignore any and all rights that they find to be inconvenient.

#AllRightsMatter

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama wants to take our guns away, yet again.

I had two disclaimers explicitly saying not to assume things and then saying what not to assume, and you did so anyways.

You said:

“Either the suspicion isn’t justified well enough for them to be on the no fly list, or they shouldn’t be able to purchase a firearm while there’s serious suspicion that they are dangerous.”

I assume this to mean that either it’s not okay how the government puts people on the no fly list with no adequate evidence or it’s okay that those on the list aren’t allowed to buy a gun.

“There’s a problem in one of the two and it’s not that people who are believed to be dangerous with sufficient reason shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a firearm.”

Essentially, you’re saying in the next sentence that one of these conclusions has an issue, and it isn’t that people on the watchlist shouldn’t be allowed to purchase guns. Therefore, you’re inferring that’s cool for those on the list to be stripped of their ability to buy a gun.

How am I misreading this again?

Movement can be taken away because you’re suspected and that’s totally fine, apparently.

Have you heard of a bus? A car? A train? You’re not prevented from moving. I hate the no fly list as much as anybody, but this is an absurd argument. If they were prevented from crossing state lines, then you’d have a point.

Can they buy guns though?

As a general rule, convicted felons can’t buy guns (there are exceptions) so I would assume not.